ABSTRACT: Deploying artificial reefs is a proven technique for increasing both the number of fish and the diversity of the marine ecosystem in a particular area of the sea body. Previous investigations in this field have generally focused on the influence of the reef block design on flow phenomena. By contrast, the effects of the seabed topography on the performance of the reef have received comparatively little attention. Accordingly, in the present study numerical simulations are performed to investigate the effect of different seabed topographies on the flow field structures created both in and around artificial reefs. The simulations focus specifically on the effects induced by concave and convex seabed features, i.e. mounds and trenches, respectively, characterized by various degrees of inclination. The simulations are performed using a finite volume numerical method, in which the seabed features are modeled using simple trapezoidal blocks. A total of 18 different reef block–seabed topography systems are considered. The simulation results provide a valuable reference for marine engineers and ecologists when formulating deployment strategies aimed at enhancing the performance of artificial reefs.